Raja advocates coordination between power and hydropower depts

ITANAGAR, 29 Apr: The power & hydropower minister’s adviser Balo Raja on Friday advocated strong coordinated actions by the power and the hydropower departments to ensure proper running of the hydel stations in the state.

He said this during a meeting with the power commissioner, the hydropower secretary, all the chief engineers from both the departments, the system operation & power system communication SE, the transmission SE, the Siang basin SE, the Kameng basin SE, the Tirap & Lohit basins’ SE, and the SLDC EE.

It was apparent during the deliberation that, due to the lack of a suitable mechanism for inter-departmental coordination, there seems to have been communication gaps, causing coordination inefficiencies between the two departments.

“Unless it (coordination) is done, the hydel stations would not be able to generate to their optimum capacities just for want of issues pertaining to T&D, grid connectivity, etc. Only good coordination will make it possible to develop a system that syncs with one another,” Raja said, adding that “generation of power from our own hydel stations can minimise the financial burden on the state exchequer in terms of purchase of power from outside the state.”

The CEs of the hydropower department’s western and eastern zones presented project-wise analyses, highlighting the issues where intervention by the counterparts from the power department is required.

In reference to the Nuranang hydel project in Tawang district, it was observed that the power being generated from all the hydel plants within the district can be injected to the state grid or local grid, as the case may be, with prior consent from the state load despatch centre (SLDC).

Similarly, the power being generated from the eastern side, namely, Kamba, Sippi and Sirnyuk hydel plants, can also be connected to the state grid, it was observed.

The SO&PSC SE informed that, “As per the regulations passed by the Arunachal Pradesh State Electricity Regulatory Commission, 5 mw and above capacity of power can only be injected directly to the grid system. Other smaller generators can also be injected directly into the state grid, provided that the local distribution is not in a position to consume locally.”

He advocated creating a local grid by synchronising all such small hydels at the local level. “Thereafter, the integrated local system can easily be connected to state grid at a suitable place with little planning and communications with the SLDC,” he said.

“Further, necessity of day ahead scheduling of 15 minutes’ block by all generators shall be mandatory; else the state may pay a huge amount as penalty under the CERC DSM regulations, which can adversely affect the state exchequer,” he said.

He informed that the SLDC will start conducting quarterly state operational coordination meeting from this year onwards, and requested all stakeholders to “actively participate and take advantage of the meeting, most likely to be commenced in May or June.”

The transmission SE suggested “early transfer of all 33 kv HT and allied infrastructures to the transmission utility, so that the issue related to grid connectivity can be made easier without elongating the due process.”

The power commissioner directed the SEs of the hydropower and the power departments to “discuss the technical issues related to grid connectivity to all the projects, especially of Kameng and Siang basins, with the SO&PSC SE on 6 May, and sort out the problems.”

He directed them to submit the outcome of the discussion within a fortnight.

Raja commended the roles of the commercial CE, the SO&PSC SE and the SLDC EE “in enhancing revenue generation with their all-out efforts in timely and real-time scheduling of available power for sale,” adding that “revenues to the tune of Rs 231.75 crores and Rs 309.48 crores have been earned by the state in 2020-21 and 2021-22, respectively.”

The hydropower secretary also spoke.